I and Thou – Spirit of the Snow

Spirit of the Snow

Spirit of the snow,
Immorality oozing out our pores.

Ice crystals suspending in the atmosphere,
Clouds bursting with moisture.

Precipitation forming in favorable conditions,
White cotton balls accumulating on surfaces.

Snow falling from the twilight sky,
Dusting the ground all around.

Spirit of the snow,
Cleansing our souls to renew.

Image Credit: https://www.peakpx.com/en/hd-wallpaper-desktop-fjkzf

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I and Thou – Lessons Learned from Queen Elizabeth Part 1

Image Credit: “Symbolic Transom” Religious Stained Glass Window (stainedglassinc.com)

Introduction

In the next few weeks, I will share my insight into relationships in the Royal Family. There is much to learn, I promise. We will look at key players and how they finally found love. We will begin with duty and love. And how at the end of the day, the Royal Family puts on pajamas like the rest of us.

Lesson #1: Duty and Love rarely mix well.

Duty and Love

I have been following the Royal Family in bits and pieces. I am no expert by any means. What seems so obvious to me was how Queen Elizabeth was torn between duty and love for her family. I felt it first in her affection for her sister, Margaret. She loved her so. I can only imagine how painful it was for Queen Elizabeth to deny Margaret from marrying her soulmate, Peter Townsend, who happened to be a divorcee. The Church had a lot to say about divorce in 1955.

Then, in the 1970s, I saw the Queen’s influence on Prince Charles and his secret love for Camilla, who, in the Queen’s eyes, was not worthy enough for him. Camilla was a “party” girl, and the Queen thought she would not be a suitable princess. This signaled a sense of duty weighing much more heavily than love. This baffled me as the greatest commandment is to love one another. Nowhere in The Bible does it say to love only rich people. Or love only those in one’s same socioeconomic class. Then, again, his divorce, public love, and marriage to Camilla in 2005 seemed to snub The Church and its anti-divorce platform. 

Town & Country Magazine wrote, “A change in the Church of England’s rules about remarriage after divorce, which took effect in 2002, made it possible for Charles to marry Camilla. In an attempt to avoid controversy given their relationship history, the couple opted not to have a grand royal wedding, but instead married in a civil ceremony at the Guildhall in Windsor, and then had their marriage blessed by the Church in St. George’s Chapel. While the Queen approved of the marriage, she was not present at her son’s wedding ceremony. But she did attend the church blessing and reception.”

Fast forward to 2021. Prince Harry and Meghan. Not only did Prince Harry marry a divorced woman, but they were also married at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, England, where his father and Camilla received a blessing that preceded their civil marriage ceremony at Windsor Guildhall. We all are witnesses to the transformation that happened right in front of our eyes. In 16 short years, we went from a civil ceremony of Prince Charles and Camilla, two divorced royals, to a religious wedding ceremony in a cathedral of a divorced soon-to-be royal. I call that progress!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!

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I and Thou: Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Can you hear them? The bells are ringing. The town crier is making the announcement.

Can you see them? The stars are brightly shining. The shepherds see them in the sky.

Can you smell it? The hay in the manager. The sheep are lying quietly, heads bowed low.

Can you taste it? The cool, damp air of the night. The child swaddled for warmth.

Rejoice!

Sing praises to the newborn King!

The sacredness of Christmas reaches near and far. The stars twinkle in the sky. The gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Hear ye!

Hear ye!

Christ is born!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Image Credit: Nativity backdrop at Mybackdrop dot co dot uk

I and Thou: Hanukkah Night 8

Speaking as a non-Jewish bystander who profoundly appreciates the Jewish faith, tradition, and the stories surrounding it, I share the meaning of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah

Hanukkah is known as the Festival of Lights. It is an eight-day holiday to signify the burning of one jar of oil that lasted eight nights: hence the eight candles on the menorah.

According to the legend, when the Maccabees entered the Temple and began to reclaim it from the Greeks, they immediately relit the ner tamidwhich burned constantly in the Temple and has a parallel in our synagogues to this day. In the Temple, they found a single jar of oil, which was sufficient for only one day. The messenger who was sent to secure additional oil took eight days to complete his mission, and miraculously, the single jar of oil continued to burn until his return. The rabbis of the Talmud attributed the eight days of Hanukkah to the miracle of this single jar of oil.

https://reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays/hanukkah/history-hanukkah-story

So, when exactly did this event occur? There is an approximate date of Hanukkah beginning around 2o0 BC. It is not mentioned in The Bible, yet it signifies a Godly moment – a miracle, if you will.

The word “Hanukkah” means “dedication” in Hebrew.

Hanukkah is also commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, known as the Maccabean Revolt. This historic event took place in the second century BC. According to the Hebrew calendar, this Jewish holiday begins on the 25th of Kislev and typically occurs in November or December.

Image Credit: My Jewish learning dot com

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I and Thou: Comfort & Joy

Busyness.
Anxiousness.
Loneliness.
Grief.
Sorrow.
Sadness.


Artist Credit: Comfort & Joy by P.s. Art Studios

At this time of year, our burdens may feel heavier. This is a guided meditation. Read slowly and listen to what is in your heart.

Comfort & Joy

Comfort and joy,
Where can I find this comfort and joy?
Take a break. Step away. and find a quiet place.

Comfort and joy,
Where can I find this comfort and joy?
Sit for a while. Ask for God’s presence.

Comfort and joy,
Where can I find this comfort and joy?
Be still. Close your eyes. Breathe. Relax.

Comfort and joy,
Where can I find this comfort and joy?
In the depths of your soul, reach as far down as you can.

Comfort and joy,
Where can I find this comfort and joy?
Sit for a while. Be open to God’s presence.

Comfort and joy,
Where can I find this comfort and joy?
Ask God to sit and join next to you.

Comfort and joy,
Where can I find this comfort and joy?
Shh. Quiet. Hear God speak.

God says, Hello, precious child.
“I knit you together in your mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:9)
I am so happy to see you. I’ve been waiting for you to ask me to sit with you. Go ahead and tell me what is on your mind.

It’s okay. Speak your mind.
Stay awhile in this sacred place.

Comfort and joy,
Where can I find this comfort and joy?
In this sacred space, may you find comfort and joy.

Whatever your religious beliefs are or are not, may this season of holidays, encourage you and bring you tidings of comfort and joy.

*****

Inspired by the Christmas Song, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen…
“Fear not,” then said the Angel, “let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour, Of pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him, From Satan’s power and might.”
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

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I and Thou: Hanukkah Night 7

Speaking as a non-Jewish bystander who profoundly appreciates the Jewish faith, tradition, and the stories surrounding it. I share the sacredness of the word, G-d.

Do you ever wonder why Jewish people don’t spell out G O D?

G O D is so HOLY that out of deep respect, Jewish people don’t spell G O D out fully because words can’t capture the “bigness” of G-d. It makes me think how G-d is a great big G-d. Too big to even name on paper. So, the next time you write, or type, G O D… you may want to pause and think about the sacredness of the word G-d. Respect for the Creator of the universe makes perfect sense to me. How about you?

 

I and Thou: Hanukkah Night 6

Speaking as a non-Jewish bystander who profoundly appreciates the Jewish faith, tradition, and the stories surrounding it. I share this poem with you in pieces for each night of Hanukkah.

The Lights of Hanukkah

Hanukkah lights burning bright,
A marvelous miracle from Heaven above.

Eight days and eight nights,
One jar of shimmering incandescent oil.

One day is all the life the oil jar had,
Yet it kept burning in a mystery.

Jewish people celebrate this temple miracle,
By honoring G-d with a thankful heart.

Come one, come all,
join the people of G-d and shout with joy,
Thank you, G-d, for each one of us.

Jew or Gentile love abounds,
Go light your menorah and let it shine.

Image Credit: You Tube watch?v=V9IJKeu_Mkw

I and Thou: Hanukkah Night 5

Speaking as a non-Jewish bystander who profoundly appreciates the Jewish faith, tradition, and the stories surrounding it. I share this poem with you in pieces for each night of Hanukkah.

The Lights of Hanukkah

Hanukkah lights burning bright,
A marvelous miracle from Heaven above.

Eight days and eight nights,
One jar of shimmering incandescent oil.

One day is all the life the oil jar had,
Yet it kept burning in a mystery.

Jewish people celebrate this temple miracle,
By honoring G-d with a thankful heart.

Come one, come all,
join the people of G-d and shout with joy,
Thank you, G-d, for each one of us

Image Credit: Walker-Ministries dot org

I and Thou: Hanukkah Night 4

Speaking as a non-Jewish bystander who profoundly appreciates the Jewish faith, tradition, and the stories surrounding it. I share this poem with you in pieces for each night of Hanukkah.

The Lights of Hanukkah

Hanukkah lights burning bright,
A marvelous miracle from Heaven above.

Eight days and eight nights,
One jar of shimmering incandescent oil.

One day is all the life the oil jar had,
Yet it kept burning in a mystery.

Jewish people celebrate this temple miracle,
By honoring G-d with a thankful heart.

Image Credit: Stahley Family Ministries

I and Thou: Hanukkah Night 3

Speaking as a non-Jewish bystander who profoundly appreciates the Jewish faith, tradition, and the stories surrounding it. I share this poem with you in pieces for each night of Hanukkah.

The Lights of Hanukkah

Hanukkah lights burning bright,
A marvelous miracle from Heaven above.

Eight days and eight nights,
One jar of shimmering incandescent oil.

One day is all the life the oil jar had,
Yet it kept burning in a mystery.

Image: Source Unknown